relationship

arvan's picture

Call for Papers: Asexuality Studies

Asexuals are commonly defined as “a person who does not experience sexual attraction” and research estimates their prevalence at 1% of the population. Asexuality has been the subject of increasing media attention, with some high profile television and popular press coverage. This attention has stimulated academic interest in asexuality and considerable research is being conducted in a number of disciplines.

This volume will be an edited book focusing on all aspects of asexuality and the asexual community. It will collect cutting-edge research across all areas relating to this topic with the intention of constituting the foundational text for the burgeoning field of asexuality studies.

Papers are welcome from any discipline and on any topic relating to asexuality.

Possible topics include:

- Identifying as asexual
- Experiences of living as asexual
- Social history of the asexual community
- Diversity within the asexual community
- Asexuality and the Internet
- Asexuality and romantic relationships
- Asexuality and wider sexual culture
- Medicalization of a/sexuality

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a submission, please contact m.a.carrigan@warwick.ac.uk

Submissions Due May 2011

Up to 8000 words

arvan's picture

My response to: The Pros and Cons of dating a druggie

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.

      (William Shakespeare)

I read this post at The Most Cake, earlier today.  It's a tongue-in-cheek look at being in relationship with someone that uses drugs.  I tweeted it in part for the humor and in part for the willingness to look at something from another point of view.

In some of the replies to the tweet and in the comment field of the post itself, I began to notice something.  Several people really laid into either the post itself or drug users in general.  I saw a bit of a familiar pattern emerge. 

It is similar to the monkey-pile I see people jump onto when targeting transfolk, queers in general, women and so on.  It is the mob brutality of gangs targeting individuals.

Society so readily accepts the negative judgment of drug users and the "othering" / damning of them.   How happy we are to flog someone in the village square for the crime of not being who we think they should be - and how their not being "good" is used by us as license to blast them with language, isolation and punishment - including violence.  In short, dehumanizing them is unquestioned and relentless.

But the point is that "druggies" are no less human and no less likely to be in a relationship.  They are just as likely to be loved by someone:  a lover, a sibling, a parent and that they are no less deserving of love than anyone else.

People sit in judgment under the banner of being "morally superior", but what kind of morality can issue the vicious attacks by someone onto another person whom they perceive to be weaker than themselves?

Perhaps my own road from addiction to sobriety allows me to look back to the desires I had for love, human touch and community - even in the throes of my addiction.  Perhaps I have learned after half a century that opinion and judgment are not nearly so valuable as we would have others believe.

-arvan

Annabelle River's picture

The Privilege of Not Defending Oneself

I've lately felt an unfortunate pressure to defend polyamory again (with apologies to etymologists).  I usually ignore the judgments of the uninformed, but then there's the friend of a friend who may or may not have been joking when she scoffed that she'd never let me near her boyfriend.  And the polyamory-focused indie film that's actually all about how it's kooky and doomed.  And the absolutist, all-caps-laced rant on the usually sex-positive The Stranger blog with profound metaphors like "such idiotic bullshit" and questions like, "Ever wonder why they all will fuck any damn thing that will hold still long enough?"  So I could use my blog to paraphrase all the same points of The Ethical Slut, Opening Up, and Polyamory Weekly.  But they're already making the crafted argument/explanation pretty well.  My personal version is mostly sentimental: I love two people.

And I remember one poly-book-club meeting where someone suggested we all go around the table and tell everyone "why" we're poly.  It irritated me, because it had nothing to do with the book we'd read, and do monogamous people ever go around a table explaining why they're monogamous?  I politely listened to the chain of people paraphrasing The Ethical Slut, and I didn't disagree with any of it, except that I had to wonder about the poly community's talking-about-our-feelings fetish.  When it got to me, I simply stated, "I'm in love with two people.  I don't want to lie to either of them.  ...That's it, really."

arvan's picture

New Support Blog For Sexual Partners of Asexuals

This announcement over at Apositive.org came out, highlighting a new site for those in relationship with someone identifying as asexual.  Looks interesting and I hope it takes off.  There are probably a great deal of folks that can identify with this. -a

Well, I've finally done it! Looking around the Internet last week, I could find absolutely no support organizations for sexuals in long-term relationships with asexuals. So, I started one! I launched the site on March 12, 2010. The web site can be found at: http://www.spasupport.org.

"Sexual Partners of Asexuals" may sound like an oxymoron. This phrase refers to individuals who would consider themselves to be "sexual," yet find theselves in a long-term relationship with an "asexual." Such relationships can be highly problematic, resulting in tremendous stress, frustration, and hardship for both the sexual and the asexual partner. Given that there are numerous support organizations for asexuals, the spasupport organization is dedicated to providing support to the sexual partner within a sexual-asexual relationship.

This is done in a context that recognizes asexuality as a sexual orientation, and in an environment that provides both sexuals and asexuals dignity and respect.

book of blue's picture

The One and the Many

View from the railroad bridge in Rosendale, New York, 2007. Photo by Eric Francis.

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
 
The other day, an email came floating into my inbox from a website called Care2, a green-styled corporate site purportedly dedicated to saving the world, claiming 12.5 million subscribers. The subject header of the email read, "Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Do Open Relationships Work?"

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/monogomy-polyamory.html

Naturally, I thought: this ought to be interesting.
 
The writer titled her analysis like a boxing match or a legal case. Mono versus Poly is now in session! All Rise! The article commenced as such (literally, its first words): "Non-monogamy is about one thing -- sex. And sex is good."
 
(You can tell she learned her writing style from The Bible.)
 
It went downhill from there, fast. Faster than I thought possible without jet propulsion and a lot of lube. "And sex with different people -- either concurrently or over the course of a lifetime -- is good too. Sex is so good that some people are addicted to it. Sex makes people do crazy things and it makes people feel amazing things. I love it just as much as anyone else, but there is more to life than sex."

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Primarily Secondary

By Millie Jackson

Although contentious, commonly used terms in polyamory are “primary”, “secondary” and “tertiary” which represent different levels of relationships. The controversy stems from how the terms are used and if they imply status for lovers or simply reflect the degree to which a lover is involved with the day-to-day life of a partner. Many people object to the hierarchical implications but begrudgingly use the terms because of a lack of good alternatives.

“Primaries” typically live together, share expenses, may raise children together and, whether married or not, are usually overtly acknowledged by friends, family, co-workers and the like as being a couple. “Secondaries” tend to be romantically and sexually involved without sharing as much of the practicalities of day-to-day living associated with a “primary” relationship and may not be publically acknowledged as lovers. “Tertiaries” have even less if any involvement in day-to-day living, often live out-of-town and/or have other circumstances that cause contact to be infrequent, sometimes with visits limited to a few times a year or less.

Annabelle River's picture

Re-Defining Marriage, or Love for The Daily Show

I realize that I'm a couple days late by blogging standards, but I still want to join Anita Wagner, Alan, and Loving More in cheering for the polyamorous threesome on The Daily Show last Monday:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
No Gay Out
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

The poly folks come in at 3:10, but the whole clip is a good analysis of the marriage debates.

As the comments on Poly in the News agree (including one from George and Joy Reagan, the couple featured),  The Daily Show did an impressive job of showing the poly interviewees as articulate, well-adjusted, sexy people, and getting its laughs at the expense of professional-comedian Jason Jones and his mock-sensationalism instead.

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: The Elephant in the Living Room

By Millie Jackson

I continue to be very close with an ex girlfriend. We were partnered in what was my last monogamous relationship.  After four years together, we attended a workshop on polyamory at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.  This gave us a context and the vocabulary to begin seriously discussing the prospect of opening our relationship.  Although we agreed that polyamory aligned with our philosophical and spiritual beliefs, we didn’t know how to access the poly life-style.  Our relationship ultimately ended after almost eight years together before we had the opportunity to explore polyamory.

There were ups and downs throughout the break-up.  Since we were financially enmeshed and shared a lease on a house that was our home and our businesses, this process dragged out for an excruciating six months.  This emotionally challenging period eventually led to us taking much needed time apart without any contact.  This was difficult given that we had been not only lovers but best friends, roommates, business associates, and travel companions.  We did everything together--we shared expenses, shared meals, and shared a level of intimacy we had never known before.

Mercedes Allen's picture

Risky Thinking: The Implications of Sex and Gender Minority Advocacy

(My apologies for self-quoting so much here, but this article brings together some threads made before, and therefore need to be linked)

We're experiencing an interesting moment, even if it sometimes brings heavier negative $#!t than we've ever expected.  As a transsexual during the societal coming-out of transsexuality, it's kind of one of those rare glimpses within the split second of the rite of passage from obscurity to awareness.  Of course, it's longer than a split second relative to our own lives -- gays and lesbians made this transition in the early 1970s and are still not completely past the repercussive effect -- but it's still a moment on the cusp of a revolution, where we can look forward at those who trod the path toward acceptance, and then back at those who hide in the shadows, wishing to follow.

At this moment, several different subcommunities are self-defining to the point of excluding others, sometimes vilifying and refusing to associate with them, all in the name of determining their own identity.  We've seen it before, I detailed a lot of how the transsexual vs. transgender rifts forming mimic the self-defining-to-exclusion that occurred in other minority groups in "Rocky Horror and the Holy Grail" and won't reopen that here.  But one thing I've kept hearing is about how trans is the "last great unprotected minority" and that kind of thinking boggles my mind.  Because in stepping back and looking at this from a perspective of sex and gender minorities, it seems to me that we are only just starting to come out.  And if we can't learn from those previous mistakes, we risk repeating the mistakes of the past in a tragic way.

Annabelle River's picture

Beyond the Green-Eyed Monster

Last weekend I went to a panel question-and-answer session geared toward newbies in the kink Scene.  And the only question to specifically address non-monogamy was, "How do you deal with jealousy?"  Which is the same first question I've gotten from most of my monogamous friends, and the same question that dominates a healthy percentage of polyamory discussion groups.  It's an obvious question and an extremely legitimate one.  But I don't understand how jealousy merits such be-all-end-all importance.

I don't pretend to be somehow immune to jealousy; of course I've been jealous of lover's other lovers before, and it's a miserable feeling.  But then I have two options, which are: (1) Deal with it; or (2) Tell my husband and boyfriend that I want to be monogamous, in which case I would have to break up with at least one of them.  And in the last three and a half years, there has never been a split-second that I honestly thought Option #2 could be less heartbreaking or melodramatic for me than dealing with jealousy.

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